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                                     DIYAOLU BASIRAT OLUBUKOLA

May, 2016.

1.0     Introduction
Writing a journal article can be an overwhelming process, but breaking it down into convenient tasks can make the overwhelming the routine. These convenient tasks can be identified by determining what the essential elements of a successful article are and how they function together to produce the desired result. The focus of this paper is to review five articles on communication and bring out the scholarly elements with a view of familiarising postgraduate students to the strategic methods entail in reviewing. And to point out the necessary rules guiding scholarly article writing.
2.0     Scholarly writing
Scholarly writing is produced to inform a specialized audience of other scholars in a particular field. It is a writing crafted by one professional for other professionals (“Definition of Academic Writing,” 2011).
The purpose of scholarly writing is the advancement of knowledge within a specific field. More than a demonstration of the author’s expertise, scholarly writing is produced to add to the body of knowledge, extending, challenging, or expanding what is known or believed within the field (Shannon, 2011).
Furthermore Shannon (2011) opines that formal language is generally used in scholarly writing, conventional rules of grammar and mechanics; however, the tone is more serious. Authors use third person in referring to themselves and to their reader. Contractions are not used. Sentences may be more complex in structure. Vocabulary is more formal and precise. Abbreviations and acronyms are used judiciously. Because the audience often other people in the same profession, authors may use more technical terms. People within the profession know and understand these terms and expect them to use. However, if the audience is more general, including people not familiar with the vocabulary of the profession, the use of technical terms should be kept to a minimum. Author should also consider defining the technical terms that are used.
3.0     Journal Article
Journals are composed of collections of academic articles, which are written by scholars and are usually read by other experts in the discipline (Yan, 2014). Journal articles can be written by anyone who has something to contribute to the field, and the type of article written will depend on the kind of information the writer wishes to share.
He further stated that, Journal articles are often categorised as: empirical research articles, literature reviews, case studies, technical articles, theoretical articles, methodological articles, book reviews, or letters; and that the most common of these is the empirical research article.
 Scholarly articles are articles that have been peer-reviewed before they are published. This means that experts in the field of study will review and approve the article before the journal will publish it.
The most important characteristic of scholarly article is that it has to pass an academic quality assessment before it can be published in an academic journal. Before an article is accepted for publication, it has to be reviewed by researchers working in the same field. This control process is called peer-reviewing and is designed to guarantee the academic standard of an article. 

4.0     Types of academic/scholarly articles:

§  Original articles: These consist of study reports and describe results obtained from research for the first time.
§  Review articles: These are critical evaluations of studies that have already been published.

§  Theoretical articles: These are reports in which the authors are trying to formulate new theories based on existing research (Bailey, 2011).

5.0     According to Rocco, T.S. and Hatcher, T. (2011), Scholarly elements in article comprise the following:

5.1     The Title

The title identifies the problem area and may specify the independent and dependent variables. Further, it may identify the target population and must be clear, descriptive, and short for indexing purposes. A title states the subject of a scholarly article instead of its conclusions.
Trite and wasteful phrases such as:  “A study of.....”, “An Investigation to determine.....”, and “The Influence of......” should be avoided.
Example of an article title:
ü Influence of Child Rearing Style, Family Value and Socio-economic Status on Career Preference among Secondary School Students in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
×   The Influence of Child Rearing Style, Family Value and Socio-economic Status on Career Preference among Secondary School Students in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

5.2     The Abstract

The beginning of scholarly article should have an abstract. This should be a paragraph and italicise. The abstract contains a short summary of the article as well as a description of the objectives, methods, results and conclusion of the study. Keywords (or subject words), which identify the contents of the article, are also given in the abstract.Also contain in abstract are statement of the research hypothesis, problem, and methodology. It clearly presents the main findings and conclusions. The abstract contains important information about the article and does not include citations. It is a section that summarizes the whole article.
Example of an abstract from a biology report.
Many plants in Australia have their seeds buried in order for the species to survive fires. The seeds start to germinate under the soil at certain temperatures. Seeds of Acacia terminalis and Dillwynia floribunda were examined in this experiment. It was hypothesised that the seeds need heat for the germination to start.Seeds of the two species were treated in hot and cold water and left to start germinating. Acacia terminalis showed a significant response in germination after the hot water treatment while Dillwynia floribunda did not. Neither seed showed a response in germination after cold water treatment. The results for Dillwynia floribunda were unexpected but may be explained by factors such as water temperature and the length of time the seeds remained in the heated water.
Background Information

Outline of what was investigated in this experiment

Summary of Method

Summary of Results

Summary of Discussion
Nystrom, B (unpublished manuscript) University of Wollongong.

5.3     The Introduction

The introduction presents the research problem and objectives. It introduces the research by presenting background information related to the problem. It states clearly why the research is important, the research subject, and relates the problem to previous research via a brief and concise review of literature.

5.4     The Materials and Methods

This section includes a clear statement of the materials and procedures used to collect data for the study. This portion of the article is a clear step-by-step set of statements of the data collection processes. Further, the author states clearly and concisely all assumptions. The author avoids unnecessary details related to the research procedures. Here, the author states the independent, dependent, and classificatory variables of the data set.
The author is responsible for explaining the materials and methods as simply as possible. The author tries to strike a balance between providing too much information and too little. If the materials and methods are too complex or would make the article too long for the journal, the author provides references and/or an address where more complete instructions can be obtained.
If the procedures used are well known and without modifications, the author cites an article in which they are described. There are three important reasons for a clear description of the materials and methods used in a study:
1)    To provide a technique to replicate the study;
2)    provide evidence of the study's strength; and
3)    Show that the procedures used are appropriate to solve the stated problem.

5.5     The Analysis of Data

This section presents clear and concise statements of how the data were analyzed. The analysis of data is an objective, instead of subjective or speculative, presentation. It states all procedures and appropriate statistical methods used to analyze and/or summarize the study data.

5.6     The Results

The results section presents the statistics of the analyzed data and relegates interpretation to the discussion section. The author states whether differences exist between the treatments and to what degree. This section presents the research results in a logical sequence that supports or refutes the hypothesis and it may answer the question stated in the introduction.

5.6     The Discussion

Here, the author tries to interpret why the differences stated in the results section do or do not occur. Two to four salient points are interpreted in detail along with related literature citations. This section is based on the data that were actually collected and the resulting analysis of those data.
The author must be cognitive of a common error many researchers commit, i.e., use statistical inference analyses in a study and then ignore or water down the outcome in the discussion section. The reviewer and/or author should ask three important questions while reviewing and writing the discussion section of a scholarly article:
1)    Are conclusions based upon the data presented?
2)    The results discussed in an impartial and unbiased way? And
3)    The conclusions consistent with the results?

5.7     The Conclusions or Summary

This section presents a precise and accurate statement of the findings without introduction of new or irrelevant information. The conclusions drawn should be justified by the statistics and data presented. The author should use caution and make necessary qualifications when drawing conclusions. This section poses new questions for possible investigation and, when appropriate, provides recommendation and implementation statements of the research findings.

5.8     References

The research paper is not complete without the list of references. Scholarly article must cite the references. This section should be an alphabetized list of all the academic sources of information utilized in the paper.  The format of the references will match the format and style used in the paper.  Common formats include: American Psychological Association (APA), the format requires parenthetical citations within the text rather than endnotes or footnotes. Citations in the text provide brief information, usually the name of the author and the date of publication, to lead the reader to the source of information in the reference list at the end of the paper (Masters, 2014).The Modern Language Association (MLA), Harvard and so forth.
APA format structure:
Author, A.A..(Publication Year). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume (Issue), pp.-pp.
APA format example:
Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education.Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 13(3-4), 147-148.
APA Reference citations in text:
Indirect Quotation with Parenthetical Citation
Libraries historically highly value intellectual freedom and patron confidentiality (LaRue, 2007).

Indirect Quotation with Author as Part of the Narrative
LaRue (2007) identified intellectual freedom and patron confidentiality as two key values held historically by libraries.

Direct Quotation with Parenthetical Citation
Darwin used the metaphor of the tree of life "to express the other form of interconnectedness–genealogical rather than ecological" (Gould & Brown, 1991, p. 14).

Direct Quotation with Author as Part of the Narrative
Gould and Brown (1991) explained that Darwin used the metaphor of the tree of life "to express the other form of interconnectedness genealogical rather than ecological” (p. 14).

 MLA format structure:
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of the Periodical volume number. Issue number (Year of publication): Page Numbers.
MLA format Examples:
Glasser, Theodore L., Isabel Awad, and John W. Kim. "The Claims of Multiculturalism and Journalism’s Promise of Diversity." Journal of Communication 59.1 (2009): 57-78.

6.0     List of Articles

This study review and brought out the scholarly elements in the following communications articles:

1)    Evaluation of the Effect of Media-mix on HIV/AIDS Information Dissemination in Abia State, Nigeria.
2)    Challenges of Communication Strategies for Sustainable National Development in Nigeria.
3)    The Future of Nigerian Libraries in the Pace of Information Technology Development.
4)    Self-awareness and Global Cyber Fraud in Lagos: A Study of the Cynthia Osokogu Saga.
5)    Communicating the Risk of Diabetes in Nigeria: Bridging Gaps between Research and Policy.

7.0     Article one
Article Title:         Evaluation of the effect of media-mix on HIV/AIDS information dissemination in Abia State, Nigeria
7.1     Summary
The study examined the effectiveness of media-mix in disseminating Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) information to rural communities in Abia State. Mass Media intervention was organised by the Abia State government with the aims of preventing HIV by increasing the knowledge, improving risk perception and changing sexual behaviour of the people.
There was a misconception about the disease that it only spread through sexual contact contrary to other important factors such as blood transfusion and use of infected sharp objects such as syringe needles, razor blade etc. The virus can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or at birth. The mass media interventions offer a cost effective way to reach large number of people, but the study argued that the effect of mass media may only be short term. This is calling for reinforcement of messages to sustain the people awareness about the deadly disease using the media-mix strategies.
One Hundred (100) samples were randomly selected to represent the population for the study. Questionnaire and Focus group Discussion were used to collect data for the study. The data collected was analysed with the use of simple descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings of the study indicated that majority of the respondents were still in their active and productive years and their level of knowledge before interventions revealed that the people where not totally ignorant of the epidemics in the first instance, but there was a significant increase in the level of knowledge of the respondents with the intervention of the researcher’s media-mixs.
The study then recommended that media-mix should be used in HIV/AIDS educational campaign, this is necessary “because a message that is repeated many times perhaps with variations but always with basic consistency becomes familiar and people come to recognize and understand it without having to think”.

7.2     Scholarly elements 
a.     Title:
The title capture the essence of the study, but it is too long. It can be reduced to “Evaluation of media-mix on HIV/AIDS information dissemination in Abia State”.
Name of author:   the surname and initial were not separated by coma.
·        It is written: Odoemelam L.E and Nwanchuwku I.
·        Instead of:   Odoemelam, L.E and Nwanchuwku, I.
b.    Abstract:   
It is not italicised, the numbers of words used to state the sampling method is too long, and the words are more than 34% of the whole words used for the abstract. That is, Three Hundred and Fifteen (315) words were used for the abstract; One hundred and Eight (108) was used for describing the sample method alone. Although, the method, findings, recommendation were adequately stated in the abstract.
Another observation from this abstract is that, present tense was used to state the study recommendation:
·        The paper recommends …….
·        The paper recommended …….
And the full meaning of the abbreviated HIV/AIDS is not given for better understanding of the readers “Human Immunodeficiency Virus / Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome”.
c.      Key words:
Under the key words the researchers should have include other register or terminology such as syndrome, virus, transmission, dissemination, blood transfusion etc.
d.    Introduction
The introduction was sufficiently stated to some extent, but there is no detail explanation of what media-mix is all about or what it meant. This may hamper or confuse the audience understanding of the study. The full meaning of HIV was not given likewise the full meaning of UNAIDS.
·        UNAIDS  meaning: United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS
There was no separate heading for literature review apart from the introduction that introduces the study and communication theory to explain the study was not stated.
e.      Objectives
Objectives was spelt“objective” instead of objectives. Also under this heading there is repetition of active-verb ‘identity and ascertain’ in stating objectives of the study, it would have been appropriate if the active-verb were varied e.g. to ascertain, to discover, to identify, to know, to examine, to explain etc.
f.      Research question
Research question for the study were not stated. The research questions were supposed to be carve-out from the objectives of the study and should come before methodology.
g.     Methodology
The specific method for the study was not stated under the heading methodology, it only explained the sampling procedure. The question listed under methodology has little or no relevance to the objectives.
There is no heading for the analysis, the analysis started as a continuation of methodology which is not supposed to be. There should be separate heading to distinguished methodology from analysis. The word questionnaire was pluralise without indication of two (2) different format of questionnaires.
Base on the faults observed in the scholarly elements of this study, it is certain that the findings and conclusion could not have been accurately arrived at. Though, recommendation and contribution to knowledge of the research will be useful for the reduction of spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, (HIV/AIDS).
h.    References
In communication study in this part of the world American Psychological Association style of referencing (APA) is the accepted style for documenting sources of information.
The titles of the text-books stated in the references were not italicised. Another observation under the reference was that names were not properly stated as it should be. After the surname of the author there must be a coma and full-stop after the initial.
8.0     Article two
Article Title:         Challenges of Communication Strategies for Sustainable National Development in Nigeria.
8.1     Summary
The paper identified some of the challenges that were facing communication strategies in the sustenance of national development. It was identified that ineffective communication strategies has been the cause of ethnic and religious differences among the citizens of Nigeria, and this was making the development agenda a difficult task to implement. It was argued that communication strategies are a functional strategy that provides focus and direction facilitated by a practitioner performing the role of the communication manager at the functional organizational level.
It was established that communication strategy is a tool that identifies and manages issues to ensure that national goal are aligned to societal values and norms. In summary it was argue that challenges of communication strategies include weak technical skill, poor professional journalistic standards, dearth of financial resources, and poor integration of both ICT and traditional platform. Further more power and control, ownership of the process, cultural and social norms and uptake by individuals and societies are possible impediments to positive communication strategy to sustainable national development.
Fifty (50) respondents from Nigerian Ministry of Information and National Panning were sampled. Questionnaire and focus group discussion were used to collect data for the study.  Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data collected. 
The study then suggested that the implementing agency of national development should adjust the strategy on the basis of the evaluation of the stakeholder groups’ levels of knowledge and awareness.
8.2     Scholarly elements
a.     Title:
The title is not contradictory from the main focus.
b.    Abstract:
The abstract was adequately stated.  It contain the topic, methodology, instrument used, findings and recommendations.
The abstract was not italicized. It is also observed that most of the statements were constructed in present tense. The first person pronoun “We” was used to make recommendation for the study which is not allow in scholarly writing.
c.      Introduction:
The introduction was well stated but the method of quoting sources did not include numbers of pages, and this may reduce or hamper the quick access to information cited.
d.    Literature review:
The study stated that communication plays a significant role in supporting democratic development and stimulating economic growth. It was also highlighted that communication advocates, argued that the strategic use of political communication tools and methodologies can influence the attitude, opinions and behaviours of key stakeholders and secure the political will necessary for reforms to be successful on the ground. But the researchers failed to itemise the communication strategies and did not state the media channel to achieve it.
e.      Statement of problems:
The statement of problems were not boldly stated

f.      Methodology:
First person pronoun “We” was used to communicate the method employed in the study. Three methods were also used to implement the study under methodology these includes: focus group discussion, direct interview and structure questionnaire, but two methods were mentioned in abstract.
g.     Findings:
The findings were not well articulated.
h.    Recommendation:
Recommendation was not included in the study, but going by the last paragraph of result and discussion which stated that “the evidence by focus group discussion shows that communication strategies employed by stakeholders in Nigerian communication is very limited. Policy communication strategies with focus on unidirectional transmission of government policy to the people, without feedback from the people back to the government”.
There should have been a recommendation or advice for the government to use social media to pass information across to the people. This is so because social media give way to quick feedback to information.
i.       Conclusion:
First person pronoun “we”was used to communicate the conclusion. This should not be under standard practice.
j.       References:
The titles of the text-books stated in the references were not italicised. Another observation under the reference was that names were not properly stated as it should be. After the surname of the author there must be a coma and full-stop after the initial.

9.0     Article 3
Article Title:         The Future of Nigerian Libraries in the Pace of Information technology Development.
9.1     Summary
The study examines the future of Nigerian library in place of information technologies, as information technology is gradually eroding the printed resources in the library.
Libraries are known to be chief custodian and sources of getting adequate information by the citizen. It further traced the origin of information technology and its usefulness in libraries. The challenges of Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage in libraries routines were discussed, it was noted that Nigerian Libraries were slow in embracing the new technology and recommended that “librarian and information professionals must prepare themselves to fully embrace information technologies”.

9.2     Scholarly elements
a.     Title: 
There is a correlation between the title and the body of the study, but if the title is reduced to “Future of Nigerian Libraries in the pace of information technology” it will manage words.
b.    Abstract:
The abstract was well stated; it contained the title, challenges, suggestion/recommendation and conclusion of the study. But it failed to state the instrument and methodology employed to carry out the study.

c.      Introduction:
The introduction was well stated, it gives insight to the study.
d.    Literature review:
The literature review was sufficient enough, but the numbers of pages of the cited reference were not stated.
e.      Objectives:
There is no stated objectives and research question for the study, and these are the elements that will show if the study is scientific or not.
f.      Methodology:
The specific method employed and the instruments used were not stated.
g.     Conclusion:
The conclusion would have been a very good observation to improve the usage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) by libraries in Nigeria. But the researchers did not really carried out the study using scientific method, instrument and sampling procedure to elicit response from specific target population to prove scientifically the present stage of Nigerian Libraries in the pace of information technology.
h.    References:
There is lack of consistencies in the references stated. The number one (1) reference for example has no coma after surname and no full-stop at the end of the date. The third reference first letter “s” in services was capitalised when the first letter of the words that pre-cede are in lowercase.

10.0   Article 4
Article Title:         Self-awareness and Global Cyber Fraud in Lagos: A Study of the Cynthia Osokogu Saga.
10.1   Summary:
The paper discussed extensively on the cyber crime and various forms of internet fraud. Such as hacking or unauthorised use of computer systems, defacing websites, creation and malicious dissemination of computer viruses, some men disguisesor pretended to be women to defraud their victims. The study proposed several research questions and hypothesis that further investigated the use of shared on-line content among different categories of people within Lagos State, and at the end of the study , it was found that a positive relationship exist among users and cyber crime, a development that makes users vulnerable.
The study then recommended cautioned use of internet, change of password and avoidance of sharing personal information with unfamiliar people among others.

4.2     Scholarly elements
a.     Title:
The title differs from the main focus of the research. For instance, the study investigates the use of social networking among various users in Lagos, while the case study mentioned is not directly related. The only place where ‘Osokogu’ became relevant was the sociological aspects.
b.    Abstract:
The abstract was presented like literature review, it did not summarise the study as it is supposed to be in abstract presentation, and the objectives of the study, the findings and recommendation were not stated. As against the standard of abstract content, the researcher quoted Joseph Luft and Harrington. Present tense was used to narrate the abstract instead of past tense e.g. the first sentence of the abstract.
c.      Literature Review:
The research doesn’t provide literature review on the use of social networking and fraudulent use among people.
d.    Problem statement:
Problem statements were not connected with the study.
e.      Methodology:
Descriptive survey was used to carry out the research. The study population comprises people who use internet applications such as e-mail, chat rooms, face book, twitter etc.
Questionnaire was used to administer question to Sixty Three (63) sample sizes, comprising of 36 men and 27 women.
f.      Findings:
Findings were not well integrated. The finding shows that there is positive relationship between shared contents among friendly internet users and cyber fraud increase in Lagos, Nigeria. But  the sample size use for the study is so few that the researcher cannot generalize the findings to Lagos, because the population of Lagos according to 2006 census is above 12 million and if the study proved to cover Lagos state the population sample should be more than Sixty Three (63). It should be at least 10% of Lagos population.
g.     Recommendations:
Even though, the problem statements were not connected with the study and findings were not well integrated, yet the recommendation will be very useful to keep people at alert and be mindful with the way they relate with strangers on social media. They should monitor the traffic that enters their face-book account, twitter,electronic mailing etc., changing of password regularly, and sharing of vital personal, family and business information only with those known and trusted.
h.    References
There were series of missing references and poor citation. “Longe, Chiemeke, Fashola, and Omilabu were poorly cited in the in text  citation, the date of their cited material was not included in the in text citation, and this cited sources was completely omitted in the referencing, likewise Stewart and D’ Angelo, 1975’ was not in the list of references.

11.0   Article 5
Article Title:         Communicating the Risk of Diabetes in Nigeria: Bridging Gaps between Research and Policy
11.1   Summary
The paper discussed some introductory notes on the effects of diabetes, although the study was to communicate the risk of diabetes in Nigeria, in order to bridge gap between research and policy using the proximate communication strategy as the research tool.The researchaim to develop the capacity of, and build consensus among health and educational practitioners, health researchers, NGOs and other stakeholders this will help to improve the prevention and management of diabetes in Nigeria. Furthermore, it will enhance skill, knowledge and understanding of people working directly with children and young people on best practice on prevention and management of diabetes and increase the understanding and knowledge of school children within Nigeria.
Many literatures were cited and some cases were reported as experiment, though, there were no substantive explanations or reasons of such.
The paper concluded that healthittude project had a significant impact and success on workingwith women and families involved in the project, because it has increased their confidence and ability in cooking healthier food at their various homes based on their participation in the project.

11.2   Scholarly elements
a.       Title:
The body of the research did not really cover the title. As the title read “Communicating the Risk of Diabetes in Nigeria: Bridging Gaps between Research and Policy” “Policy” was not fully expatiated in the body of the research.
b.      Abstract:
Three paragraphs were used to communicate the content of the abstract. Future and present tenses were also used in the abstract content; quotations of three authors were used. All these negate the rules of abstract writing. The spacing is 1.5 instead of single. The findings, methods employed, instrument and recommendations were not stated in the abstract.
c.       Key words:
Words likeobesity and malnutrition can still be included in key words.
d.      Introduction:
HIV was abbreviated, but the full meaning is not given“Human Immunodeficiency virus”
e.       Methodology:
The method used for the study comprises an interactive, participative process where health researcher and policy makers are brought together in a capacity building and consensus building initiative, designed to generate group wisdom, joint learning and shared ownership for the promotion of health and well-being among at risk populations.
The language used in communicating the methodology make it look like a proposal. Future tenses were used to communicate the methodology, e.g. “This research will be undertaken in a two stages design”. “In these FDGs between 10 and 15 participants will be brought together...........”.
First person pronoun “we”was used in communicating content of the methodology, e.g. “we will conduct school-based workshop.......”.
f.       Findings:
Findings, recommendations and other evidence of scholarly research were not available and it was further stated that “expected outcomes of the research are............”.This make the study look more of a proposal than article.
g.      References:
Arrangement of the references is not consistence, full-stops are omitted at the end of some of the years of publications and the general arrangement of text on the references was not in order. Some of the cited sources were not included in the references.e.g “Akinfeleye, 2008 and Fasanmade, 2008”.

12.0   General view of the articles:
The articles are communication articles with different titles, but they share things in common in their referencing. This is due to the fact that, they all used APA referencing style. The references share one or more of the following in common: title of some of the cited journals were not italicised, names of some of the cited authors were not properly stated e.g. omissions of coma and full-stop where it is appropriate, and missing references, i.e. work cited in the body of the research are not included in the list of references. This is applicable to article four and five were authors like Longe, Chiemeke, Fashola, Omlabu, Akinfeleye and Fasanmade were poorly cited in the in text citation and totally omitted in reference list.
13.0   Conclusion:
The primary aim of this study is to review and bring out the scholarly elements in five communication articles. The analysis in this work has clearly expatiated on the scholarly elements which include; the title, abstract, introduction, objectives, materials and methods, analysis of data, result, discussion, recommendation and conclusion.
In any scholarly article where all these aforementioned were not included, such article does not meet the scholarly standard of article writing. And the inclusion alone does not satisfy the scholarly standard of writing. The whole elements must complement one another to come to a meaningful conclusion and recommendation that will add to existing work and contribute significantly to the body of literatures. 

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